It was the same thing every weekday morning.
I would wake up with this horrible sense of dread. Sometimes there were tears.
I had to go to work. And I was miserable.
It didn’t start off this way. When I got the job, I was jazzed. I was tasked with managing the creation of a new company website. And if I do say so myself, it’s awesome. I loved the process. Worked with a killer web design team. Had a blast writing the content. Had visions of blogging and email newsletters dancing in my head.
The website launched. But it soon became clear that leveraging it, updating it, loving it, was not going to be a top priority. I had way too much other stuff on my plate.
I guess when the VP of Sales and Marketing questioned why a website was even needed in the first place, that should have been a pretty obvious red flag.
And it soon got worse. In the name of saving the company money, a staff member that left was not replaced. And faster than I could say I’m a marketing professional, I was answering the 1-800 number and wrapping gift baskets.
Not what I went to school for. Not where I envisioned my career.
Let’s back track a little
A decade ago, marketing was nowhere on my radar. I finished a history major in university and I wanted to be a teacher. I got disillusioned with the state of the Canadian public school system, so then I decided to go into ESL. I loved learning languages (I speak 4 myself) and was obsessed with traveling (I’ve visited every continent, 30+ countries and counting). Teaching international students was a great fit!
And then a marketing/sales job at an ESL school kind of fell into my lap. I decided to give it a try… and I really loved it. My new career path unfolded before me.
Headed to BCIT for a Marketing Communications Certificate which was where I got my 1st real taste of internet marketing in a course taught my a super smart and savyy local Vancouver marketing professional. I was hooked. I could use my love of writing (thank you history degree!), my love of communicating with people and my love of organizing and detail oriented tasks, to very good use in the world of online marketing.
So when I graduated, it was a job in internet marketing I was after. And I got a great one where I met one of my mentors, Laurent Munier. He was my boss and taught me so much. We worked together at rolling out an online marketing plan, and created an awesome new website… unfortunately, the business went under in the whole 2008 financial fiasco, just days before the website was to go live. But the experience was invaluable and my love of all things online promotion was solidified.
Back to the crying and the career derailment
I looked and looked for another opportunity. I thought I was going to lose my mind if I spent one more working minute doing nothing with my marketing savvy. But, I didn’t just want to jump into any old job. I wanted to find a great fit.
And I couldn’t.
And all I can say is thank you universe because that is ultimately what propelled me to start my own small business.
Another mentor of mine asked me what I wanted to do career wise. I said “own my own business, but I’m not ready now.” She just looked at me and very simply said “Why not?” It all snowballed from there.
She gave me the courage to jump off the deep end. To stop letting my fears stand in my way.
And jump off the deep I did. I gave my notice, and a few short weeks later, I was sitting at home in front of the computer, wondering what the heck I had gotten myself into, but knowing deep down that…
…it would all work out
And has it ever. Sure, the beginning was bumpy. I had to learn so much about being an entrepreneur. I needed to use my savings and give up on a back-backing trip to Cuba to bootstrap myself (and you know pay rent and that kind of stuff). But it all started coming into place.
I got my first clients (thank you to the small businesses that supported me right from the start – you know who you are and I appreciate you!!). I partnered with a great design team that I had worked with at my previous job (ECD Graphics – love you guys!). Found a solid, steady on going contract as a copywriter and social media strategist at a local Vancouver marketing consultancy (thank you Twitter, seriously).
And lo and behold, here I was, working from home, doing what I loved and working with small businesses and entrepreneurs in all kinds of different industries.
It just took a little courage. A little nudging from God Source (“negative” situations? Ha!). A little help (OK, a lot) from my family and my partner.
And a whole lot of small business enthusiasm and self-love.
I stand humbled in gratitude.
Sometimes, we get so mired down in the day-to-day running of our small businesses that we forget how far we’ve come since we started. Heck, we might even forget why we are doing this whole small business thing in the first place. Writing this post and reflecting on my journey was a very powerful and empowering process of remembrance and appreciation.
Having a job you love is so important. The way our society is currently structured, we have to spend the greater part of our lives working. I know that for many a small business owner, starting their own entrepreneurial journey was a way to bring joy and passion into all those working hours.
So maybe you might want to take a cue from me and write your own story down. And if you’ve been wondering what the heck I should blog about next, here you go ☺ Next post topic covered.
How did you start you business? Have you bared all in your own small business story? Share your personal journey, leave links to your content, let me know if my experience resonates with you. Meet you in the comments.